Change Makers: the sustainable power of sticky change



This blog is part of a 2-part interview series, delving into the idea of change and how to effectively implement it with speakers from our Women in Tax National Congress. Read part 2 here.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve learnt that change can be unexpected, uncomfortable and really difficult. Change, especially on the scale and at the peed we’ve all experienced during COVID-19, can leave you feeling breathless and burnt out.

But change can also be a force for good. It can mean growth, discovery and innovation. At our Women in Tax Congress this June, we’re exploring the techniques, strategies and tools used by experts to create positive change.

We recently caught up with presenter Suzy Jacobs, to hear more about her keynote session The Change Code – making every change stick, where she’ll dive into the topic of sustainable change, why its so effective and how you can implement it to change the way you live.

What should we expect from your session at the Women in Tax Congress?

The session that I'll be doing at women in tax Congress is about stickable change. So being able to sustain change, because the most disheartening aspect of change comes from the failure of being able to make it stick. If you think about it, right? How many things do we try to apply and change? Some of them stick, lots of them don't and that can become disheartening. So I specialize in teaching people, the principles of sustainable change, really excited to be doing it. It's called ‘sticky’ or sustainable change.

How did you first get interested in wellbeing and change?

I've been in what people would call the personal development/self-development/leadership/coaching space for the past 15 years and I've worked with thousands of clients. The one thing that occurred to me about five years ago when I had the seed of an idea for this program, is that change is with us to stay.

There are a lot of things that other people suggest that we change about ourselves - maybe about the way we work, about how we look, how we think, how we dress - but what's most important is that you know what you want to change. It's all that matters.

And understanding who you are and you having access to the principles of sustainable change puts you in the driver seat. It empowers you to know what sort of change is right for you and what change aligns with your values and your purpose and your goals, dreams and desires.

So what keeps me interested and passionate about this topic Is that I believe that we all have a purpose in life. And I'd like everyone who's at that conference, anyone watching this, for them to be able to find their purpose and do work that aligns with that purpose.

There's no need for you to spend hours and hours and hours reading self-help books, trying to fix yourself trying to apply a whole bunch of change which may not be relevant to your life. When you start at the core, at the centre, and go, “Who am I? What's my purpose?” and then make the changes right for you because you know how to make that change and then sustain it, that's empowering. That's what keeps me lit up and keeps me passionate and engaged with my clients because they start being able to bat away all the stuff that's not important to them because it doesn't align with their values, and they become super productive, efficient and focused on the stuff which matters most. That's when it gets really exciting.

Why is sustainable change such a relevant topic right now?

So I think over the last couple of years, there has been so much change. And I completely understand if you are sitting there listening to this, going, “Leave me alone, I don't wanna change anymore!” I get it. Change is uncomfortable. It requires us to think differently. So it takes energy.

But here's the thing, whether you want to call it being agile or being willing to pivot, these are just different ways of saying the same thing, which is: change is here to stay and the evolution and the speed of evolution and change that is occurring in that world in our world is here to stay.

So in fact, your ability to change and adapt is the number one skillset that you're gonna need over the next two, five, 10, 20 years. So imagine, if you have a superpower, which is about sustaining your change, you only have to learn something once in any facet of your life - relationship, health, wealth in your professional life - and you know how to apply the process in order for you to sustain that change, to be at the forefront, to lead the change, to never be scared of change. Nothing is more important than you being able to adapt, to be agile, to pivot, to grow, to learn in order for you to have that sense of security and safety about your relevance in this world.

So if you have one process that you can apply to all of life, that just makes every other process in your life, more efficient it is absolutely an imperative. And you know what? It's not that hard. And this is what the incredible thing about sustainable change is, when you learn it, you'll just go, why the hell didn't somebody teach me this stuff before. You'll be blown away.

So why does ‘sticky change’ work so well in real life?

The fear of change stops people in their tracks. And as I said earlier, the fear of change is the reason people shutdown to ongoing change. We can also have decision fatigue or change fatigue, right? So over the last couple of years, we've all encountered a lot of change and so we can be fatigued by the process.

So where I see it sustainable and sticky change being really super valuable to people is when I'm working with clients and they’ve got the ‘Aha!’ moments. They can see that sustainable change is actually just a process that you can learn. So they can take this process of change and be able to apply it to not just what they what's happening in their career or in their business, but every aspect of their life.

This stuff, sustainable change, is where it's at. When you nail this one, you can apply it to every area of life. That's what I see with the clients I've been working with the past couple of years in so many different sectors of life and the change that they talk about, as I said, is applied in every aspect of life. That's incredibly powerful.

What key takeaway do you hope delegates will have from your session?

The one thing that everyone will take away from my session is to release themselves from a sense of failure, that there is something wrong with them and that's the reason they haven't been able to sustain change. And I don't care whether it's around saving money, getting fit, getting a promotion, being more confident on stage, sustaining relationships, I don't care. Whatever area, all of us have had that experience of trying to make change in our life and for it to slip away. We've put so much effort into it and so much commitment and so much of ourselves into it only to find it disappear.

So I promise you, every person who attends the women in tax conference will walk away feeling energized, inspired and I reckon just free of that sense that somehow it's their fault that they've failed in previous attempts. That will be worth coming. If for no other reason that alone will be worth every cent that they pay.

Why should people invest in themselves and attend the Women in Tax Congress in 2022?

I had the privilege of MCing at the Women in Tax Congress two years ago. It was an extraordinary event. The calibre of speakers, the sense of community, the connections that were made. I'm still in contact with people who I met in that room.

This is an opportunity for us to do that and more. And it's time. I really believe it's time for us to come together. We've lived in a lot of fear over the last couple of years, but we get to choose whether we continue nurturing that fear, or if we create our own path, right, where we choose to out there and to lead. This is the opportunity for people to tackle 2022 from a place of positivity, of commitment, of leadership and making a real choice to go, “Actually, we get to decide, we get to choose how our industry runs, how our businesses run, and we're gonna be a voice for that, whatever that looks like.”

You're coming to a place which is gonna teach you how to make the changes in yourself in order for you to step up and be that leader. What could be more powerful, inspiring, energizing, or enlightening then that. So I look forward to seeing you all there.

Catch Suzy at 8.40 am on 3 June 2022 at the Women in Tax Congress. In-person and online registration is available for this Sydney-based event, so you won’t miss out on these incredible insights. Find out more.


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